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McGoo reaches for some Commonground

18 04 2016

Seemingly right on the heels of our last post on Commonground Bikes (Finding that Commonground), an industry icon has thrown his support behind the Commonground concept.

Who is this industry icon you ask?

(If the headline didn’t give it away…)

It’s none other than Harold “McGoo” McGruther.

In a pair of Instagram posts today (here and here), McGruther talks a bit about his personal history riding/racing cruisers and what impact a trails-oriented 24 like the Commonground could have on the big-wheeled BMX scene.

Here’s a couple of tidbits from his posts:

…Commonground [‘s] 24″ seeks to bridge the gap between a BMX bike’s diminutive scale and an MTB’s complexity and cost to give grown-ass men a bike they can ride like they may have ridden in their teens and 20s, before wives, kids and desk jobs set in

If Pro BMX racing hadn’t become a clipped-in gym rat’s game at the turn of last century, I’d like to believe guys like Chris Moeller, @brianfoster, @ecmtb1 and Travis @commongroundbikes would have pushed race machinery in a bigger, faster, more bulletproof direction.

I secretly pine for what might have been had guys like Mike Day, Robbie Miranda and Brian [Foster]* gotten aboard the big bike train.

IMHO there is another good argument for grown men riding bigger bikes: fewer feckless members of the peanut gallery would look down on our sport’s greatest athletes as merely “old men on kid’s bikes.” I personally despise that opinion and comparison, but sometimes perception IS reality.

…Fortunately, BMX dirt jumpers and MTB-mounted "freeriders" did accelerate the evolution of terrain, to the point where a 6-year-old expert has a difficult time just walking the course. Bike riding of this nature is a man's game, and it demands real equipment. Enter @commongroundbikes. Travis Engel is a mountain biker who probably cut his all-terrain teeth on a BMX bike in his younger days, but understands the limitations of 20-inch wheel size, coaster-brake derived 110mm dropout spacing, and uber-twitchy 74+ degree head angles at higher speeds. His Commonground 24" seeks to bridge the gap between a BMX bike's diminutive scale and an MTB's complexity and cost to give grown ass men a bike they can ride like they may have ridden in their teens and 20's, before wives, kids and desk jobs set in. Commonground uses established BMX fabricators @fbmbikecompany and @sandmbmx to produce their framesets and handlebars, then picks spec from an eclectic mix of MTB and BMX suppliers to build the whole. While I haven't ridden a Commonground 24 personally, I love Travis's passion and gumption enough to buy one, and will be picking it up when I meet its maker next Wednesday. If Pro BMX racing hadn't become a clipped-in gym rat's game at the turn of last century, I'd like to believe guys like Chris Moeller, @brianfoster, @ecmtb1 and Travis @commongroundbikes would have pushed race machinery in a bigger, faster, more bulletproof direction. I remember the Blue Falcon's podium ride at the 2001 X Games DHBMX like it was 15 years ago, and I still secretly pine for what might have been had guys like @mday365, @robbiemiranda and Brian gotten aboard the big bike train. @ryannyquist has finally jumped on a FSMTB, and I think doing so will add years if not a decade to his illustrious cycling career. IMHO there is another good argument for grown men riding bigger bikes: fewer feckless members of the peanut gallery would look down on our sport's greatest athletes as merely "old men on kid's bikes." I personally despise that opinion and comparison, but sometimes perception IS reality.

A post shared by Harold McGruther (@haroldmcgruther) on

This isn’t the first time that McGruther has commented on “progressive 24s.”

You might recall a post from some years back, An army of giants take over the trails, where McGruther (using a Mirraco 24 as a jumping off point) talked about the number of core companies jumping into the 24 market (this was back in ’09).

At the time, he summed the situation up quite aptly by saying,

All we know for sure is this: 24-inch BMX bikes are fun to ride, and that’s good enough for us.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Postscript:

This just in…Brian Foster has jumped aboard the “big bike train“…to a degree, at least…in a surprise announcement — via Instagram — BF dropped the bomb that he was experimenting with an 22″ S&M ATF…and FIT would be releasing a 22″ Brian Foster complete in the new year.

Yowza!

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Watch this video: Know Your Roots

24 02 2012

Following on the heels of his more widely known BMX documentaries, Joe Kid on a Stingray and Stompin’ Stu: The Story of BMX Legend Stu Thomsen, Mark Eaton’s new documentary, Know Your Roots: The History of Mongoose has just come out.

Lots of great stuff in here, spanning Mongoose’s colorful 40-year history, everything from the origins of the Motomag, their early race team, the scooter phenomenon and McGoo’s tenure as the team manager/marketing manager (and the reasons behind his abrupt departure). I was especially stoked to see a segment on Jeff Kosmala and his signature KOS Kruiser–which Mongoose re-issued last year–and their collective impact on the cruiser class of that era.

Another great documentary from Mark Eaton. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Bonus info: Have you seen Mark Eaton’s section in Wheelies? It’s a perfect mix of flat and street. I must have watched that section a thousand times when that video was released. Check it out here.





An army of giants take over the trails

21 01 2009

McGoo, an industry insider from way back in the day, has seen it all..from Martin Aparijo doing infinity rolls to street riders wearing girl jeans to everything in between….his ascerbic answers to dumb reader mail questions were one of the highlights of Ride magazine in its early days. McGoo is now the driving force over at SNAFU and has a pretty good take on things on the industry. I check out the SNAFU blog from time to time and noticed that they have  a little something on the new bike in their “test stable”: the Mirraco Icon 20Forty.

mirraco-icon-20forty

They’ve spec’d it out with all sorts of goodies like the new OLA sprocket and prototype Splitter stem in bronze ano. Squint and you’ll see them in the picture above.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about the post is what he leaves till the end:

Mirraco isn’t the only progressive BMX company to offer a 24-inch trail/street bike for older and taller riders: Fit Bike Co., Subrosa and Haro also have two-fours in their quiver, and according to insiders at all these companies, they can’t keep ’em in stock. Does this mean an army of giants might take over the trails in 2009? Who knows. All we know for sure is this: 24-inch BMX bikes are fun to ride, and that’s good enough for us.

The italics are mine but I can’t help but share the sentiment… 2009 is going to be a big year for cruisers…there are just so many good options available now.  Older, taller riders (as well as everyone else) are starting to see how much fun they are to ride and are jumping on the bandwagon. Is an army of giants going to take over the trails in 2009? There very well might be…that is, when they are not taking over the streets, racetracks and skateparks.